Final Examination Kujira
Gadeem & Juteem
Da Capo II
AR: Forgotten Summer
Da Capo Girls Symphony
Generic Disclaimer: Of course I wouldn’t know how the bishoujo games industry truly works, so some info below may be wrong or misinterpreted. This feature is from an outsider’s point of view, namely, my point of view.
So screw me. Aside from Da Capo or Suika, I know only a bit about bishoujo game company Circus. Pretty ironic isn’t it? But nevertheless, prepare for a long post because of the many games that this company made.
Da Capo is one of the most popular animes of its genre currently, with a successful first season run, an average second season, a decent sequel, and it’s good second season. If you combine these, it’s one of the biggest anime series in the genre’s history.
I actually knew about Suika first. Back then, I didn’t care which company made which game, as long as the game looks good. Suika indeed looked good. Then someone noted to me that there is actually an H-anime for this one, but I didn’t watch it. Believe it or not, I really don’t watch H-anime, but me playing these (once-called) H-games put me up in irony. Enough about that though.
Looking at the games list though, I could say that this is one busy games maker. Subdivided into many groups, Circus seems to cater to lots of kinds of bishoujo audiences. Basically, Circus and Northern teams release the typical types of bishoujo games, Fetish team seems to have lots of focus on “fetishes”, and the new Metal team has the Mai-HiME game as initial offering. Recently, they even delved into female gaming by releasing a Da Capo otome game.
First, let’s focus on their most popular “franchise”, Da Capo. The sheer number of games based on this franchise is absolutely staggering, and fans keep emptying their wallets on each incarnation. The list of games include but may not be limited to:
Da Capo Games
Da Capo Plus Situation
Da Capo Plus Communication
Da Capo White Season
Da Capo Summer Vacation
Da Capo Onsen
Da Capo Four Seasons
Da Capo After Seasons
Da Capo II
Da Capo II Spring Celebration
Da Capo Poker
Circus Disc: Christmas Days
Circus Disc: Christmas Days 2
…and so on
Da Capo is obviously the first game. It tells about your life with the girls in this small town, where the cherry blossoms seems to bloom despite the changing seasons. You discover the powers, the mysteries, and the drama of all the girls who are affected by the power of the sakura tree. Da Capo became so popular that it literally spawned numerous incarnations, after-stories, fandisks, and even a “compedium” of after-stories.
Da Capo Plus Situation is the PS2 game. H scenes are removed and an entire plethora of new girls and scenarios are added into the mix.
Da Capo Plus Communication is the conversion of the PS2 game back to PC. H scenes are restored, and added along with the new characters. One weird feature of this is that you have an option to play the original Da Capo, the one without the new D.C.P.S. characters and scenarios. It’s like two games in one.
Da Capo White Season is an after-story set on the winter season.
Da Capo Summer Vacation is an after-story set on the summer season. D.C.P.S. characters included.
Da Capo Onsen is a fandisk which doesn’t seem to be commercially sold, so it’s kinda rare. It’s a hot-springs sidestory.
Finally (whew), Da Capo Four Seasons will be the PS2 game compilation of the after-stories. The White Season and Summer Vacation scenarios will be included, along with two new scenarios based on the Spring and Fall seasons.
I’m gonna bet that D.C.F.S. will have a PC version when the clamor for more Da Capo arises again.
And if that weren’t enough, Da Capo II is coming! It is set around a half century since the events of the Da Capo games, and currently it sports kinda nifty character designs, some of which are already on the website. We see two Asakura girls, possibly descendants, and some others which look kinda similar to some Da Capo girls. You might wanna prepare your money for an entire array of fandisks, sidestories and animes based on this, if you are planning to.
Up next is a look at some of their other games.
I was a bit surprised that Infantaria was a Circus game. It was one of the earlier games I encountered. Generally though I don’t like fantasy and royalty themes.
I haven’t touched on it yet, but there is a playable demo available which was actually translated into English. All I know is that there is that mysterious whale in the sky, similar to the flying blimp in Wind -a breath of heart-. There is already a fandisk for this game, called Final Examination Kujira ~Departures~… haven’t touched on that either.
Suika seems to have the same magical aura of Da Capo. It tells about a legend of how love begins in the spring and summer, and ends in the winter. So in summer you would be in a vacation somewhere and meet some girls, but when summer ends…
Mai-HiME the PS2 game seems to be a cross between visual novel and RPG-style strategy. Initially it turned me off because the initial drawings don’t look like their anime counterparts. But looking further at more designs and screenshots show the typical good drawings similar to other Circus games. Unfortunately, this being RPG, I can’t play it.
Circus has the habit of making joint projects with other bishoujo game companies. One of their major offerings is Sakura, joint of Circus and Princess Soft. This is about a thousand-year old love story between two lovers that never seems to have a happy ending even when they have reincarnated through various time periods. By that plot alone, it already sounds intriguing and exciting. And looking at the voice actors, popular seiyuu are here! Yui Horie, Yukari Tamura, Sakura Nogawa, Nana Mizuki, among others… what an amazing cast! I wanna play this!
The Fetish lineup of games really seems to cater to the popular ‘fetishes’ like school swimsuits (Sukumizu series) and maids (Homemaid and çµ‚ã®é¤¨). Homemaid by the way is also a Circus and Princess Soft joint.
An upcoming joint between Circus, broccoli (Galaxy Angel) and GameCRAB (True Love Story) will release true tears.
Finally, with one of the weirdest joint projects I’ve ever seen in bishoujo gaming, Circus released Suika O-157, an SD Suika game which aims… to educate people in preventing food poisoning! This game was apparently endorsed by the government so that preventive measures could be learnt on how to avoid the Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria strain, which is a leading cause of foodborne illness. But obviously some education sectors are against the game, saying that ero-games and characters should not be used as an social education tool, even if the game itself did not have such content.
Whew, that was long. I hope you didn’t get bored with all my babbling.